Image Courtesy of Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

Image Courtesy of Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

The Situation

As a non-profit affordable housing organization, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity has several different programs that support local communities:

  • Home Buyer Program: Habitat works with low-income families who are looking to become homeowners and provides them with the support and education they need to be successful. They build homes with the families and provide them with crucial construction, home maintenance, and financial literacy skills. The homes are sold with a no-interest mortgage. Every mortgage payment support other families within the program.
  • Home Repair Program: Habitat works with low-income homeowners who need critical home repairs or preservation work, offering them a no-interest loan to make these repairs. Habitat works with them on the homes so they can improve the safety and value of their home.
  • Almost Home Program: Habitat provides case management support services to families looking to become home-buyers through the Home Buyer Program.
  • Transitional Rental Program: Habitat rents homes specifically to clients in their Almost Home Program while they’re working towards homeownership.
  • Rock the Block Program: Habitat focuses on neighborhood revitalization in vulnerable, targeted neighborhoods throughout the Fox Cities, kicking off involvement in these neighborhoods with a “Rock the Block” event that consists of Habitat making as many exterior repairs on houses and businesses as possible within the area, giving residents the chance to get out and meet each other and work side by side with volunteers to uplift the neighborhood. Habitat stays in this neighborhood (sometimes for several years) and builds new homes, works on rehabilitation, and provides home repairs.
  • Habitat ReStores: Habitat has two local retail outlets where they sell donated, new, and used building materials and home improvement items to the public. Profits support their housing solution programming.

With an impressive amount of programming, volunteers, clients, and their progress, land, and banking to keep track of, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity needed a solution that would support everything they do.

One of the greatest challenges that prompted Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity team to re-evaluate their CRM solution was needing a more effective volunteer and donor management tool.

Image Courtesy of Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

Image Courtesy of Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

The Solution

“We had formerly been using Keystone,” says Amy Ristow, Chief Operating Officer at Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity. “It was very specific to Habitat and worked well but relied on a small team that created it for support. It was very limited in its functionality.”

As the organization grew, the team decided they needed something more and conducted an in-depth investigation that led them to Salesforce.

Ristow and her team conducted thorough research with several different Habitat chapters and Habitat for Humanity International. Through their discussions, they found that many of them were considering or moving towards Salesforce.

There are roughly 1,200 Habitat for Humanity chapters across the nation, and an international Atlanta-based organization that supports them.

Salesforce attracted the Fox Cities team because its functionality extended beyond their original goal of having a more effective donor and volunteer management tool. Salesforce could support other programming as well.

Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity first designed its Salesforce instance in 2012 with Cloud for Good consultants. In 2019, the organization decided to work with a local firm when they needed to update their Salesforce instance and add new functionality. Through local networking, the Fox Cities team found a fit in Ledgeview.

The Benefits

Image Courtesy of Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

Image Courtesy of Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

“I was very impressed with the knowledge, questions that were asked, and interest in our organization that Ledgeview had from the get-go,” Ristow says. “They just really got it.”

“It was an excellent, very positive experience with Ledgeview,” Ristow says. “Our first experience with another consulting firm was lacking. There was not a clear direction or a clear timetable or understanding of Salesforce.”

“With the first consulting firm, our instance was designed from scratch. It was labor-intensive to participate in the design of it. They didn’t go through the process of giving me different steps of how we were supposed to get from design to testing to migration to user adoption and so on.”

“Whereas, Ledgeview did an excellent job of making sure I understood Salesforce’s current functionality, the benefits of Lightning, the differences between Classic and Lightning, and anything Salesforce-related that would help us be successful throughout the implementation. That was huge.”

“There was a very good understanding of the entire process, a very organized schedule of recurring meetings and what would be accomplished during them, excellent follow-up and note-taking processes, and any outstanding issues or questions were addressed immediately. It was just a very, very positive experience.”

“Ledgeview was very helpful in helping me identify any system processes that we could do on our own or if we would need support from them in the future,” Ristow says. “They did a great job of giving me options.”

Ristow notes that Salesforce Trailhead has also been helpful in her understanding of the technology.

Salesforce’s ability to manage data for its multiple programs is its strongest asset to the team. Ristow encourages any fellow non-profits who are interested in learning more about or implementing Salesforce to “make sure you work with a partner like Ledgeview.”

“Salesforce is very robust, and can be complex, but can also be designed efficiently to support small non-profits as well as large ones,” Ristow says. “For a non-profit to try and understand and design the system on their own is too much to ask. I would encourage anyone to reach out to Ledgeview.”

Salesforce has helped the Fox Cities Habitat team create more efficient and collaborative processes. All the reports and information they need are always at their disposal, creating better time management practices across the organization. The team has become accustomed to pulling information from Salesforce objects instead of asking for it from each other, having adopted Salesforce with ease.

Now, the Fox Cities team can use the powers of Salesforce to track and manage all their donors, and much of their volunteer, land, and client data and their program progress. Greater Fox Cities Habitat for Humanity looks forward to integrating an email marketing solution with Salesforce in the future to interact with their constituents in even more engaging and impactful ways.

About the Organization: In their own words… 

“Fox Cities Habitat for Humanity is an innovative leader in diverse housing solutions by empowering families and inspiring community-wide action to break the cycle of poverty.

Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.”

Fox Cities Habitat for Humanity sees “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

“Everything we do is in stewardship of our community, our environment, and the time, talent, and treasures of our volunteers, staff, donors, and shoppers. As good stewards, we commit to upholding these values: Family, Stewardship, Excellence, Innovation, and Community.”

Learn more about the organization’s mission at https://foxcities.org/about/leadership.

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“I was very impressed with the knowledge, questions that were asked, and interest in our organization that Ledgeview had from the get-go. They just really got it.”

Amy Ristow, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

“It was an excellent, very positive experience with Ledgeview. Our first experience with another consulting firm was lacking. There was not a clear direction or a clear timetable or understanding of Salesforce.”

Amy Ristow, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

“Ledgeview did an excellent job of making sure I understood Salesforce’s current functionality, the benefits of Lightning, the differences between Classic and Lightning, and anything Salesforce-related that would help us be successful throughout the implementation. That was huge.”

Amy Ristow, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

“There was a very good understanding of the entire process, a very organized schedule of recurring meetings and what would be accomplished during them, excellent follow-up and note-taking processes, and any outstanding issues or questions were addressed immediately. It was just a very, very positive experience.”

Amy Ristow, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

“Ledgeview was very helpful in helping me identify any system processes that we could do on our own or if we would need support from them in the future. They did a great job of giving me options.”

Amy Ristow, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

“Salesforce is very robust, and can be complex, but can also be designed efficiently to support small non-profits as well as large ones. For a non-profit to try and understand and design the system on their own is too much to ask. I would encourage anyone to reach out to Ledgeview.”

Amy Ristow, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity
Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity Logo

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